I came to read the following article on the always excellent EUobserver: Robots and media scrutiny to shape EU military future. It is quite a wonder of a report, I think. The author, Honor Mahony, comments on a European Defense Ministers' Council report on the future of European armed forces. And there is no word about common defense forces or anything like this in it. It is all about technology, threats and political perception.
Quite unsurprisingly, the report quotes new threats in the direct European geographical environment (terrorism and guerilla war threatening EU vital supplies routes, rogue states, new nationalisms and religious fanaticism). The reports also explains that armed interventions to answer these threats might meet resistance from the public opinion, especially if they are not specifically authorized by the United Nations. War is getting more and more unpopular in Europe (which is obviously good) but that means a deterrent defense is also becoming more unpopular too (which is obvioulsy bad). Additionnally, with the aging of population as well as the sounding of States budgets, armies in Europe have more and more difficulties to recruit young, qualified and quality people.
So what are the answers of these estimate Ministers... Well, believe it or not, robots and computers. The war of the future on and around the European battlefield will be a war of information, communication and automated soldiers ! Who said Terminators ?...